The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns  is the book I wish I’d had when I started spinning. Let me say right up front it’s not specifically a beginners book, per se, but it IS inspirational—and I think that’s awfully important when you first start out. If you paired this with a true “how to” book I think any new spinner would have plenty to work with.
Sarah Anderson did an amazing job in this book on a number of points:

  • the photos are great
  • the sections are color-coded on the page edges so you can navigate quickly and easily
  • the writing is friendly and funny (you can absolutely hear her voice)
  • she includes pictures of work done by her family (and Lordy, what a talented lot they are!)
  • she isn’t biased (she spindles, she spins on a wheel, she knits, she crochets)
  • she includes scale photos of her yarns, close enough to see the fibres and angles of the twist
  • she explains S- and Z- better and more clearly than anything else I’ve seen
  • she has these nifty little removable cards at the end.

She also has a genius section on socks. This would have sold me even if the rest was lousy (which it is not). She brings up the rumor (which I’d heard too) that chain-plyed yarn wears unevenly and causes holes to form more quickly in socks. So she tested it. I won’t tell you the genius thing she came up with to protect heels a bit more (you’ll have to check out the book, heh heh heh) but I can promise you this—that tidbit isn’t the only useful thing you’ll get out of the book.

It’s been published by Storey and is available from Amazon.

And if you want to test your luck, my copy  of The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs will be given away to a lucky CraftLit listener. To put yourself into the running, visit the February 2013 shownotes for CraftLit and leave a comment about why you would like the book. I’ll use a random number generator to select the winner. (Be sure your email is entered correctly!)

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